Re Roger Berlin’s sarcastic and highly-coloured letter ‘Why are cyclists so careless?’
Like a lot of letters directed at a certain section of our community, it paints a one-sided sweeping picture – branding all cyclists as thoughtless, selfish and careless.
I admit his view is valid for a section of two-wheel users, but I think perhaps he is confusing ‘people on bikes’ with ‘cyclists’.
It’s a bit like saying all football fans are drunken hooligans or all motorists are speeding and irresponsible.
I have been a cyclist for some considerable years and I can assure him for instance, that were it not for my road craft, I would have been killed on many an occasion, by thoughtless or deliberately-motivated drivers.
It is also a slight distortion of the facts to say that no cyclists contribute to the cost of roads. I, like many fellow cyclists, pay council tax and also own a car.
As for the misconception that ‘if motorists commit an error, misdemeanour or mistake, they are fined, banned or go to jail’. Really? What nonsense! One only has to stand at the side of the A24 or A27 to see the amount of mobile phone use, speeding, and yes, actually reading the paper while driving, to realise that the perceived risk of ‘being caught’ is actually quite small. And remember, these actions can kill.
I am not in any way condoning the selfish behaviour of some, by riding on the pavement and jumping lights, but don’t tar us all with the same brush.
Unlike other road users, cyclists, true cyclists, raise many thousands of pounds for charity, so please, praise where praise is due.
We are all entitled to use the roads, all it needs is a little give and take on all sides.
Lastly, the woman with the non-helmet wearing child in the child seat may have been foolish, but it’s her choice, as wearing a helmet is not compulsory and not subject to any law, as yet.
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